EU allowance system 'wide open to abuse'

A member of the European Parliament told ITV News no one in Strasbourg ever asks for paperwork in relation to his allowances and expenses.

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MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour, warns speaker

MPs are increasingly put off Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) by the "histrionics and cacophony of noise", the Speaker of the House of Commons has warned.

Read: 'Dunce' Cameron takes aim at 'muppet' Miliband

John Bercow
John Bercow has to frequently call the house to order during PMQs. Credit: PA

John Bercow said women MPs and "seasoned parliamentarians" had given up attending the weekly question and answer session because of bad behaviour by other members of the house.

Mr Bercow said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than heavy metal band Deep Purple, regarded as the loudest band in the world in some quarters.

He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme there are "down-market parts of the media" who would "positively relish" it if there was a fight on the floor of the Commons chamber.

Read: Tory MP Anne Marie Morris steals show at PMQs with ear-busting outburst

David Axelrod 'proud' to work with Ed Miliband

President Obama strategist David Axelrod has tweeted he is proud to be working with Ed Miliband.

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Proud to work with @ed_miliband. UK has same fight we fought in 2012; for an economy that works for working people. http://t.co/dQWhTX9WsX

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Miliband: Axelrod will be huge asset to Labour campaign

Labour leader Ed Miliband has welcomed the news US presidential strategist David Axelrod is to join the party's election campaign.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Press Association

He said: "It's excellent news that David has agreed to help One Nation Labour win the next election and build our campaign to change Britain so hard-working people are better off.

"He will be a huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better."

Obama strategist to join Labour's election campaign

One of US President Barack Obama's top campaign strategists has been recruited by Labour to play a key role in Ed Miliband's bid for Downing Street in next year's general election.

Obama strategist David Axelrod is to join Labour's election campaign. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA/Press Association Images

David Axelrod, who is credited with masterminding Mr Obama's presidential victories in 2008 and 2012, will join Labour's general election campaign team as a senior strategic adviser, the party announced.

Bercow: Noise in Parliament 'puts MPs off contributing'

The House of Commons Speaker has criticised the "histrionics and cacophony of noise" during Prime Minister's Questions, saying it puts MPs off contributing.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow calls for order during Prime Minister's Questions. Credit: PA

John Bercow, who is responsible for maintaining order in the Commons, said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than Deep Purple.

He said that despite recognising that behaviour must improve, the party leaders had yet to make a specific commitment to help do so.

BBC Radio 4's PM programme said Mr Bercow told them that "seasoned parliamentarians" boycotted PMQs out of embarrassment and that some female MPs did not want to take part in the session.

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Lucas 'haunted' by UK's reliance on fossil fuels

Green MP Caroline Lucas told the court she felt it was important to protest about fracking to prevent the UK from being locked into using more fossil fuels.

Green MP Caroline Lucas (centre) arrives with co-defendants and supporters at Brighton Magistrates Court in East Sussex
Green MP Caroline Lucas (centre) arrives with co-defendants and supporters at Brighton Magistrates Court in East Sussex Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ms Lucas said: "I'm haunted by the idea that my children and my children's children will turn round to me and say, 'What did you do about this overwhelming threat?'"

Her co-defendants were also cleared of both charges against them. They were Josef Dobraszczyk, 22, from Bristol; Ruth Jarman, 50, from Hook, Hampshire; Sheila Menon, 42, from north east London; and Ruth Potts, 39, from Totnes, Devon.

Read: Lucas vows to continue fight against fracking

Lucas vows to continue fight against fracking

Green MP Caroline Lucas has promised to continue her fight to end fracking after being found not guilty of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence.

"We will continue to campaign to end fracking and only celebrate when our world is on the path to a clean energy future," Ms Lucas said outside court.

She was arrested outside energy company Cuadrilla's exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, in August last year.

Read: Lucas says court judgement on protest 'not a victory'

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Lucas cleared of Balcombe anti-fracking charges

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas was arrested outside energy company Cuadrilla's exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, last August 19.

She was among a group of protesters who had linked arms outside the site, which had become a national focal point for anti-fracking protests.

During the trial at alongside four co-defendants, Lucas, 53, said she "wanted to express solidarity" by protesting peacefully. She was found not guilty of the two charges she faced - wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.

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